Brian Kelly has been a familiar face on London’s Irish circuit for some time now, thanks in part to a four-year residency with guitarist Paddy Gallagher at The Stag’s Head in Camden, and his shock of ginger hair. His debut album was launched at the Return to Camden Town festival 2001. Accompanied by Paddy Gallagher and with additional assistance from Brian’s sister Martina on fiddle and John Blake on flute and piano, Brian’s banjo ripples through a series of eleven tracks with disarming ease. There’s none of the excessive elaboration to which some banjo-mongers are prone, for this man knows an ornament when he sees one and, more importantly, when and where to play it.
Brian joined The Popes in December 2003 and has spent the last couple of years touring with Shane Macgowan. He now plays with, among others, Jamie Smith and Colette O’Leary in various residencies around north London. Brian’s new album, “The Plain of Jars”, was released in October 2006 at the Return to Camden Town Festival. It features many musical friends, including Jamie Smith on fiddle, Colette O’Leary on accordion, Paddy Gallagher on guitar and Tad Sargent on bodhran.
To find out more about Brian check out his band’s website
Brian recently hosted a very enjoyable and informative tenor banjo and mandolin workshop in the crescent arts centre in Belfast. The workshop lasted four hours and Brian taught a very detailed version of the Salamanca reel. Click above to hear the reel played nice and steady…